Rooney inspires United’s KC victory

The champions reclaimed second spot after Arsenal had temporarily

moved ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men earlier in the day after

their win over Aston Villa. Wayne Rooney tapped home in the first

half and then his poor pass contributed to Hull’s penalty

equaliser, before his second-half cross was turned into his own net

by the unfortunate Andy Dawson. And Rooney was not finished there

as he laid on United’s third goal for Dimitar Berbatov with eight

minutes remaining. United welcomed back a clutch of key defenders.

After last week’s injury-influenced horror show at Fulham, Ferguson

was able to recall Rafael da Silva, Wes Brown and Nemanja Vidic.

That meant Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick could return to

midfield roles while Ryan Giggs and Berbatov also made starts. And

Giggs was inches away from scoring from a 16th-minute free-kick

after Rooney went down under a Kamil Zayatte challenge, his shot

curling into the side netting. Hull appealed for a penalty after

making a rare break on 21 minutes but Wes Brown’s challenge as

Richard Garcia raced onto a Craig Fagan ball was deemed fair. Hull

were unlucky not to take the lead after piecing together a

brilliant move in the 28th minute. Garcia sparked the attack with a

weaving run before finding Fagan out wide. Fagan’s perfect cross

was met on the volley by Seyi Olofinjana on the six-yard line but

Tomasz Kuszczak saved to his right. The Tigers spurned another good

opportunity as Olofinjana found Stephen Hunt on the left but the

Irishman shot tamely across goal. Rafael then beat the offside trap

at the end of an intricate move on the edge of the box but Boaz

Myhill saved brilliantly from the Brazilian. Pressure finally paid

off as Hull failed to clear a Fletcher cross from the right and

Rooney tapped in from close range. Hull’s heads didn’t drop after

the break and they drew level on the hour mark when Rooney’s short

backpass was picked up by Fagan. The Hull forward then picked out

Jozy Altidore, who was pushed in the back by Rafael, at the back

post. Referee Mike Riley pointed to the spot and Fagan sent

Kuszczak the wrong way to level the scores. But Rooney made amends

on 73 minutes. The England star got away down the right and slide

the ball across the goal only for Dawson to turn it into his own

net from just two yards out. And 10 minutes later Rooney escaped

again, this time down the left, before sliding a perfect pass for

Berbatov to tap home from close range.